Back pain and herniated discs are common injuries after an auto accident, even a minor one. Left untreated, herniated disc complications are possible and, in extreme cases, can result in chronic pain and disability. That’s why it’s critical to identify the common signs of a herniated disc after a car wreck.
What is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc, also sometimes called a slipped or ruptured disc, happens when one of the discs between the vertebrae in the spine suffers damage, which makes the material inside the disc protrude through the outer layer. Spinal disc herniation indicators include the symptoms below.
One of the most common herniated disc warning signs is pain. If the herniated disc is in the lower back, the pain may be felt in the buttocks, thighs, and legs. If the herniated disc is in the neck, the pain may be felt in the shoulders, arms, and hands.
The pain may intensify during specific movements or activities like sitting for an extended period of time, bending over, or lifting heavy items that put pressure on the affected area.
Numbness and Tingling
A herniated disc can result in numbness and tingling in the affected area. Depending on the severity, the sensations can be persistent or intermittent.
As the herniated disc compresses the nerves, it can cause muscle weakness in the affected area. Sufferers may have trouble lifting things, reduced grip strength, or trouble with balance.
Reduced Range of Motion
A herniated disc can restrict the spine’s range of motion, leading to stiffness and difficulty bending, turning, or twisting.
Changes in Reflexes
In some cases, a herniated disc can impact the reflexes, causing an abnormal response during neurological testing. These changes may indicate nerve damage from the pressure the herniated disc is putting on the spinal nerves.
In severe cases, a herniated disc can lead to difficulty walking or maintaining balance, putting sufferers at risk of falling, which can lead to additional injuries.
Bowel or Bladder Issues
It’s rare and only occurs in severe cases, but a herniated disc can result in bowel or bladder problems. It happens when the disc puts pressure on the nerves that control bowel and bladder function and can lead to incontinence or difficulty having bowel movements.
What to Do if You Suspect a Herniated Disc After an Auto Accident in Florida
The actions you take after being involved in a car accident can impact your health and any personal injury claims you may make. Take these steps if you suspect you’ve suffered a herniated disc after a car accident.
Immediately Seek Medical Attention
If you suspect a herniated disc after being involved in a car accident, speak to your doctor about your symptoms as soon as possible. A doctor may order X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to help diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate treatment options.
Keep a list of the symptoms you’re experiencing, including how often, how severe, and what, if any, movements or activities make symptoms worse and are being impacted. These kinds of records are important if you intend to make a personal injury claim in the future.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer
Seeking the advice of a lawyer if you have suffered a herniated disc from a car accident is essential. Though Florida is a no-fault state, you may be entitled to bring a personal injury claim against the responsible parties.
Our legal team has over 40 years of experience seeking justice for our clients who have been the victims of car accidents. We’ve seen the results of untreated injuries, which can be devastating, and that is why you should never ignore pain after an accident.